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Halloween Edition: Copyright for Banana Costume is upheld on A-Peel

By Brandon W. Clark

The Third Circuit recently held that a banana costume qualified for copyright protection as Rasta Imposta, a retail wholesaler of Halloween costumes, sued Kangaroo Manufacturing, a costume manufacturer, for copyright infringement, trade dress infringement, and unfair competition after Rasta discovered Kangaroo selling a banana costume that resembled one of Rasta‚Äôs costumes without a license. The […]

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Impact of eBay on Injunctive Relief

Both preliminary and permanent injunctions can be crucial forms of relief in any patent case. In addition to preventing continuing infringement of a patent, an injunction puts the patent holder in a much better bargaining position for future licensing negotiations. In its eBay decision in 2006, the Supreme Court required lower courts to apply a […]

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Geographical Scope of Permanent Injunctions Challenged

  Federal trademark rights are generally enforceable throughout the United States.  However, confusion can arise where contrary decisions have been made by district courts in different geographical regions relating to the same mark. The Fourth Circuit’s March decision in Georgia Pacific Consumer Prods. LP v. Von Dreble Corp, an appeal from the Eastern District of […]

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USPTO Patent Invalidation Precludes Judicial Equitable Remedies and Sanctions

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has issued a decision inePlus, Inc. v. Lawson. ePlus sued Lawson asserting infringement of two patents—U.S. Patent Nos. 6,023,683 ("the '683 patent") and 6,505,172 ("the '172 patent"). At trial, the district court held two of ePlus's asserted system claims and three of ePlus's asserted method claims […]

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Competing Without Practicing – Preliminary Injunctions for Patent Infringement

InTrebo Manufacturing, Inc., v. Firefly Equipment, LLC, the Federal Circuit held that a plaintiff seeking a preliminary injunction for patent infringement does not need to practice the patent at issue in order to receive an injunction, so long as it sells a competing product. Trebro brought suit alleging that FireFly's sod harvester product infringed its […]

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Flawed Evidence Undercuts “Charbucks” Trademark Suit

In Starbucks Corp. v. Wolfe’s Borough Coffee, Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a district court’s decision denying injunctive relief in Starbucks’ trademark case against Black Bear Micro Roastery over Black Bear’s use of “Charbucks” for coffee. Starbucks sued Black Bear in 2001, alleging, among other things, trademark dilution in […]

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Exhausting Patent Rights Without a “Sale”

InLifeScan Scotland, LTD v. Shasta Technologies, LLC, the Federal Circuit clarified the ability of a patnet holder to enforce patent rights in a product it has given away, but not "sold." Defendant Shasta Technologies appealed from a decision of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California granting LifeScan Scotland a preliminary […]

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Another issue headed for en banc review by the Federal Circuit: How to assess redesigned products

In an order Friday, the Federal Circuit granted en banc review of its second case in the past three weeks and its third over the past three months. This time it's a case involving Tivo relating to the contempt proceedings against Echostar relating to Tivo's DVR patents. After Echostar was found to infringe Tivo's patent […]

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Grant of stay while preliminary injunction motion pending abuse of discretion

In a recent decision, the Federal Circuit found that a district court's grant of a stay pending inter partes reexamination without considering the patentee's pending motion for a preliminary injunction was an abuse of discretion. The Federal Circuit held the grant of the stay effectively denied the preliminary injunction motion, thereby making the stay order […]

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